Lately it seems that we’re bombarded with all sorts of products lauding the benefits of added ingredients that will banish wrinkles, eliminate pigmentation, reverse the effects of aging and rejuvenate skin.
Arduous daily regimes and budget-breaking cosmetics, while extolled by marketers as a necessity for glowing, youthful skin, are far from a realistic formula for a desirable complexion.
The beauty of good skincare is in its simplicity and the simple fact is that healthy eating can make a big difference to the way our skin looks and behaves.
While we know the benefits of fruit and vegetables for our insides, few people would realise the impact of these antioxidant rich foods on our skin.
In a previous blog post we looked at the ability of skin to absorb nutrients through skincare products in the same way the body absorbs them through food. But how does the body use nutrients from our food to support strong, healthy and youthful looking skin?
Antioxidants, which are well known to curb the harmful effects of free radicals on the body, are found in abundance in fresh fruit and vegetables. As the body ages, free radicals start to build up and are thought to be a key factor in chronic diseases and the signs of aging. Beta carotene, vitamins C, E, A and omega-3 fatty acids work to stabilise free radicals in the body and minimise the damage resulting in younger looking skin.
So what food should you be eating to give your body, and your skin, the best chance at fighting free radicals and slowing down the ageing process?
Foods with Beta Carotene
Beta-carotene gives carrots and other colourful fruit and vegetables their bright, orange-yellow colour. The body converts beta-carotene to Vitamin A which is an essential nutrient for good health. It maintains healthy skin, mucus membranes, a strong immune system as well as good eye health and vision. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant and is thought in food sources to play a role in the prevention of cancer. Foods with high beta carotene content include sweet potatoes, carrots, dark green leafy vegetables, cos lettuce, butternut squash, melon, sweet red peppers, dried apricots, peas and broccoli.
Foods with Vitamin C
Vitamin C is regarded as an essential nutrient with a wide range of actions within the human body. It helps in the production of collagen in connective tissue and is also needed for the production of dopamine, noradrenaline, and adrenaline in the nervous system and adrenal glands. Vitamin C is a very effective antioxidant providing optimum levels of the vitamin are maintained in the body. It is also well known in history to have helped prevent scurvy in sailors during long journeys where the fresh fruit and vegetable supply was depleted quickly. The fruit of the CamuCamu tree which is found in the Amazon rainforest has one of the highest Vitamin C contents of any fruit, at 2800 mg of Vitamin C per 100 grams of fruit. More mainstream and accessible fruit and vegetables with high Vitamin C content include peppers, guava, dark green leafy vegetables, leeks, kiwis, broccoli, berries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, peas and papaya.
Foods with Vitamin A
Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin essential for healthy vision, strong bones, clear skin, a robust immune system and neurological functions. It is a powerful antioxidant that fights the build-up of free radicals and plays a role in the reduction of inflammation. Vitamin A is drawn from animal sources known as retinoids, such as meat and dairy, and plant sources known as carotenoids, from fresh fruits and vegetables. Foods with high Vitamin A levels include sweet potatoes, carrots, dark green leafy vegetable, cos lettuce, butternut squash, melon, sweet red peppers, tuna and mango.
Foods with Vitamin E
Vitamin E is also a fat soluble vitamin and a potent antioxidant. It is well publicised for its role in natural anti-ageing through the prevention of free radical damage. It is also lauded for its benefits on the regulation of hormones, assisting in the management of PMS and other hormonal imbalances that contribute to weight gain, urinary tract infections, fatigue, anxiety and changes to the skin. Foods recommended for Vitamin E consumption include dark green leafy vegetable, nuts and seeds, avocado, shell fish, fish, olives and olives oil, broccoli, leeks, squash, pumpkin and kiwi.
Why not try this delicious recipe packed with vitamins for a super healthy treat!
Mango and Kiwi Lassi
Packed with vitamins A, C and E, this yoghurt based smoothie is as refreshing for your skin as it is for you mood. Enjoy with lashings of shredded kiwi on top.
- 1 small mango
- 2 kiwi fruits
- 200 ml low fat, natural yoghurt
- 2 tbs fresh lemon juice
Peel and slice the mango and kiwi fruits and place in a blender. Add the yoghurt and lemon juice. Blend on high speed until smooth.
This post appeared first on the Bee Loved Skincare blog.